Charles Darnay Essay

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Charles Darnay

In A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, the character Charles Darnay is a man in his twenties, with long, dark hair. He is a man full of honor and virtues, and seems like the "upstanding gentleman" in the story. His rejection of his uncle, the Marquis Évremonde, because of his arrogance and snobby attitude, shows how good-hearted he is. He has no real enemies or hatred towards anyone, but manages to maintain a strong retinue of friends, and his honesty, respect and heroism help with the reader's perception of him greatly.

Darnay represents everything good about that time period. Darnay's attempt to save Gabelle, rejection of the Marquis, and honesty towards Dr. Manette (who indirectly leads to him being nearly put to death), show what a good soul he has. The author describes Darnay as "…a young gentleman… his hair, which was long and dark… the paleness which his situation endangered came through the brown upon his cheek, showing the soul to be stronger than the sun" (54). Darnay has a seductive charm, yet not seemingly suspicious to the reader, who is drawn to him almost instantly. His allure seems to be shown in the way he is described at first, as well as seeming to be a bad guy at first, then turning out to be one the best in the story. Darnay's story is full of shock, such as finding out that he is a member of the Évremonde family, reading his "escape" from prison, and seeing his attempt to rescue Gabelle. All of these actions add to the reader's perception of Darnay as the hero in the book.

All of these actions save him and also condemn him. During his first trial in France the court, upon hearing that Dr. Manette is his father-in-law and that he rejected the injustice of the French social system, then returned at great personal risk to rescue Gabelle, lead to his trials acquittal. "Lucie Manette, only daughter of Dr. Manette, the good physician who sits there. [referring to who Darnay married]" (259). "…he had no...
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